Royal Air Force Air Cadets
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets, officially known as the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), is the youth organisation sponsored by the Royal Air Force that manages both the Air Training Corps and RAF contingents of the Combined Cadet Force. The organisation is headed by a serving RAF officer, the Commandant Air Cadets. The current commandant is Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. As of 1 April 2014, the ACO has a strength of 53,360 cadets and cadet force adult volunteers. Carol Vorderman and Sir Chris Hoy are also honorary ambassadors for the "Royal Air Force Air Cadets", both holding the rank of group captain.
The ACO is made up of:
- Headquarters Air Cadets at RAF Cranwell
- Two National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centres
- 1009 Air Training Corps Squadrons in the UK and overseas
- 199 RAF contingents of the Combined Cadet Force
Cadets normally meet once or twice a week; these are called parade nights. Each squadron/detached flight/CCF unit parade on different nights. They have a building for meetings and some squadrons or detached flights are based on active RAF bases. Activities range widely, from shooting to drilling.
- Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch)
- Air Training Corps
- Combined Cadet Force
- Air Experience Flight
- Volunteer Gliding Squadrons
- Air Cadet Organisation official website (raf.mod.uk)